Father's Day Gifts: What Dads Really Want

06/15/2010 01:38 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Father's Day is here, a special time of the year where I like to imagine that the heavens command: Release ye men from the House of Dog. Most guys I know love Father's Day for the simple reason that we aren't forgetting about some other holiday that we're supposed to remember. You know, the anniversary, the birthday, the anniversary of an anniversary (yes I did actually slip that nonsensical sentence by the editor) that we always seem to be forgetting. And therein lies the beauty: Father's Day is, for the most part, doghouse proof (mother's and wives birthday's permitting).


While no two dads are alike, fathers are first and foremost men and with all our other responsibilities we don't exactly get a ton of time to unwind and get in touch with our primal roots like we did when we were teenagers. Some fathers are easy to shop for. My own dad for instance is incredibly content with a 10-pack of socks (gold-toe if you're wondering). Anything more sophisticated and he will stare at it like an isolated tribesman from the Amazon would upon being presented with a Macbook Pro. He will politely accept the offering but stare at it with a bemused expression that says "I suppose I could inflict blunt force trauma on unsuspecting game by clubbing them with the titanium casing (didn't foresee that use did you Apple engineers?) But nothing beats my poison tip darts."

So what am I getting at? Dads gravitate toward the basics that let Men be Men, so keep it simple people. If it's another tie "The Chieftain" (Dad's stage name in this mildly amusing metaphor) will surely toss it aside as soon as you are out of eye shot. Incidentally, tribal weaponry isn't the worst Father's Day gift you could give. Here are some gifts with universal guy appeal, in short, the things we would love to get and why we love them.

Father Son Photo Shoot
This is a gift I will treasure forever: a photo shoot with my son.


The Beertender™ 2010-06-13-beer.jpg Fully automated, this is a dream come true! Nothing better
on a hot summer day. This is the gift many guys dream
about and this great looking piece more than holds its own
with the wine rack.

A Piece of Very Cool History 2010-06-13-yankees.jpg Even if we can't make it to Yankee Stadium we can still watch the game from their seats. Seats from the old Yankee Stadium are the perfect gift for those dads that are baseball fans and it will make us the envy of the block.

2010-06-13-razor.jpg Straight Razor
There are certain gifts that a guy can't wait to show their friends, I call them "guy gifts" --- although they may never get used, we love talking about them. Even if the guy reaches for an electric or a Gillette when no one is looking, he will love looking at it in the morning and just knowing it's there.

Books for the Man-shelf 2010-06-13-band.png There is nothing dad loves more than a good book. Like a stone lion guarding a castle, these classic men's titles always evoke a knowing pride when dad sees them standing vigil in the den. Where Men Win Glory: An Incredible Story of an Incredible Man, John Krakauer's saga about the life of Pat Tillman and Band of Brothers, the man classic.

Give Dad something he won't be able to get in just any old restaurant. A tasty treat that goes great with brunch. Hey, you know its good -- it has Bacon!

Make Work Fun Again 2010-06-13-usb.jpg Who says Dad's don't have a sense of humor? And what father doesn't want to be just a touch more Gangster? Custom shaped USB drives...available in East Coast and West Coast versions...

It's a knife. It's got a custom paint job. Enough said, Dad will love it.

A Compass 2010-06-13-garmin.jpg ......because men don't ask for directions... never have, never will. Many men are content to drive for hours (or even days) hoping their inner tracking instinct will eventually guide them to their destination. The whole family wins with this gift -- no more endless circling or mom running into the gas station to ask for directions.

This is really an incredible invention. Our wives may rule the bedroom TV and subject us to Desperate Housewives, but with this device we can literally watch TV anywhere! For road warriors hungry for English language shows when abroad, this is a god-send. It's also surprisingly easy to use, my own dad still has trouble with an ATM card but manages just fine with this device. The slingbox application lets you stream live TV to your mobile phone from your home cable box. Control your own destiny, change channels, this app has to be seen to believe.

Since Dad drinks the "good stuff" he will need a pair of bottle opener flip flops from Reef.